Race 1 - 12:40PM PRECISE AIR HANDICAP Tips (1200 METRES)
Handy two-year-old event to kick off Saturday's Royal Randwick meeting which sees the only winner of the field in 2. PAULELE head the betting following a very impressive debut performance at Moonee Valley on November 28.
Harder to measure here in what looks a better field, but it was a stylish win and if anything, the step up to 1200m on a bigger circuit should suit this son of Dawn Approach.
Will Chris Waller unveil another Magic Millions 2yo Classic candidate in 5. Zarastro? Although he did a little wrong early, he trialled better to the eye than the subsequent Ballarat Clockwise Classic winner Readily Availabull and improved off that with a soft trial win on November 24, albeit the time wasn't flash.
1. Art Of Flying placed behind the 2020 Golden Gift winner Sneaky Five in a solid debut before being out-sprinted in the Merson Cooper. That's been a strong form race in recent years and the step to 1200m should suit while 6. Coastwatch was luckless at Warwick Farm where he improved out of sight at start two with the blinkers on.
Race 2 - 1:15PM TAB HIGHWAY CLASS 2 HANDICAP (1300 METRES)
Raffle of a contest and although 3. COSTAS is one of many bridesmaids in this line-up, a wet track brings him further into this following a decent return at Scone where he was held-up at a key stage in the run home and would've been somewhere in the finish with more luck.
The ex-Waller runner who is now under the care of Brett Thompson, he hasn't finished outside the top three from five attempts on Heavy going, which includes his last win by a big space on a Heavy 10, so connections will be hoping for a big downpour in Sydney on Friday.
1. Perfect Pitch was a Highway winner back in May and although the two from 31 is an ordinary strike rate, she's been racing in city class events via her last three which includes a Benchmark 72 runner-up on December 9. This mare has placed on a Heavy 8 and that recent form reads very well.
2. Cock Match is hard to catch but is certainly capable enough of taking this out and he comes back from a Canterbury Friday night affair while 1. Westgrove has some claims off his third on a Heavy 8 two starts back at the Provincials. Was a little plain following that though.
Race 3 - 1:50PM TAB HIGHWAY CLASS 2 HANDICAP Tips (1300 METRES)
What do we make of the last attempt of 2. ANOTHER ONE? He looked a near good thing ahead of the November 28 Highway with some excellent form from his first preparation and despite the end margin not necessarily reflecting it, this three-year-old was rather plain in the run home.
The son of Super One arguably should've beaten Lion's Roar (subsequent Group One placegetter) on a Heavy 9 debut, so the wet track doesn't look an issue and it is worth noting that he arrived a month between runs for that last effort. I'm hoping they give two kilo claimer Tom Sherry the license to take this on early from out wide and roll forward. Looks to have obvious ability and can't sack off one bad run.
!'m a little surprised at the big opening price ($19.00 via Palmerbet
) for 10. Birdonawinningpost
who although was no match for an impressive Send Me Wild fresh, she's franked that form with a Provincial Benchmark 64 win last Sunday. This mare was given no piece at Dubbo following that but still pulled out plenty late to break the Maiden.
With a better barrier, 5. Kattegat probably wins that November 28 Highway and he comes up with gate one here. Heavy track a query if it gets to that range (safely held in two attempts) and include last start Maiden winner 13. Loving Cilla who's down on the minimum and draws for a soft run-in transit.
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Race 4 - 2:25PM SCHEMBRAE'S @ BLUEBERRY HILLS HANDICAP Tips (2000 METRES)
Chris Waller elected not to back-up in last week's Christmas Cup with 8. ACCOUNTABILITY and they instead remain at the 10 furlongs with this in-form import who put together back-to-back victories prior to a November 28 Rosehill tilt where the negative tactics cost him a winning hat-trick.
The five-year-old drops three kilos for the rise to Benchmark 88 company but with Significance franking that form in last Saturday's Listed Staying affair (who Accountability was spotting 5kg to), he's the one to beat and expecting JMac to have him closer in run this time around from barrier four.
Have to take 4. Vadiyann on trust following the first-up flop at Newcastle although nothing went right that day and after playing up in the gates, was too bad to be true. The recent trial since then was excellent and the late betting could tell the story with him.
Couldn't talk you out of an each-way ticket on 1. Elaborate
at a decent price ($13.00 @ PlayUp
), who went from a Heavy 10 win to a Good 4 attempt second-up and again performed admirably. He hasn't finished outside the top three from four Heavy track runs whilst the honest 6. Gone Bye
is another coming down in the weights and been a model of consistency since a Group Three failure back in the Autumn.
Race 5 - 3:00PM SKY RACING ACTIVE HANDICAP Tips (1600 METRES)
4. FULMINA is a very progressive type from the Mark Newnham stable who has worked her way through the grades over her last two preparations and her excellent return effort on November 28 suggested that she can continue that trend this time in.
At 34.15, she comfortably recorded the fastest last 600m of the race via her first-up attempt and at 11.13, ran the slickest last furlong as well. This four-year-old had no luck second-up last campaign and handles any conditions. With any improvement on Saturday, she has a very strong case to being the best bet on this Randwick program.
Could raffle any of the four Waller runners with perhaps a slight inclination to 2. New Arrangement who is getting costly but has no luck at his last two starts where he was caught wide on November 28 and was severely interfered with at a key stage last week.
1. Bigboyroy is generally thereabouts albeit always needs a fair bit to fall his way to win and he'll have to overcome a wide draw here whilst 3. Betcha Fying is another who doesn't win out of turn but is rarely far away and was also inconvenienced last start.
Race 6 - 3:40PM RANVET HANDICAP Tips (1400 METRES)
In a similar contest to the one Vitesse took out on December 5, who got away with murder up front on that occasion and if there's more pressure this time around (can't see how there would be less) then 6. BRING THE RANSOM can bounce back in quite an even line-up.
The eighth-place finish didn't do that performance any justice where she was set an impossible task of coming wide and making ground in a slowly run affair but notched up the fastest last furlong (11.40) in an attempt to do so. The daughter of Sebring is in good touch (won the start prior) and has prevailed on a heavy track.
4. Sausedge arguably should've won that contest but does always need a bit to fall her way and although the draw is perfect given her racing pattern, the wet track is a genuine query (hasn't seen a Heavy).
Although up in the weights now and did get every favour there, 5. Vitesse
is a leading contender again being only third-up and draws low once more while 2. Helga
appeals as the pick of the blowouts ($16.00 @ Unibet Australia
). This mare has won two of four second-up attempts and given she was three-wide the trip, the return run at Kembla Grange was brave under the circumstances.
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Race 7 - 4:20PM CITY TATTERSALLS CLUB HANDICAP Tips (1000 METRES)
With Partners, Our Bellagio Miss and Imacrumpet pushing forward, this should be a slick five-furlong dash which has the returning 3. LASHES as the early market elect and she should be ready fire fresh if the two trials were any indication (reeled in the speedy Marsannay at her latest with a seven-length space to third).
Off her dominant victories back in January, you'd nearly declare her here in what's a rather modest Benchmark 78 but she never came up via her last campaign. Interested to see the betting does late but if right, she should be winning this.
5. Partners doesn't have any first-up form but was in career best touch over the winter and from barrier six, should get first look at the lead. He comfortably scored via his one trial leading into this return assignment and is two from three on heavy ground. Gets in well after the two kilo claim of Louise Day.
The first-up effort of 10. Sally's Day
was only fair but she's only lightly raced with a Listed placing behind Fituese the highlight so far and is a hope off that form while one at massive odds ($36.00 @ Sportsbetting
) to monitor is the 1. Removal
. Was just over two lengths off Hard Empire three starts back (since won a Group Three) and although never let down at Scone as a big drifter ($5.50-$11.00), the rider reported that he was looking for a wet track.
Race 8 - 5:00PM BISLEY WORKWEAR HANDICAP Tips (1400 METRES)
Although this is a tougher ask to his fighting third-up win, you just know what you're going to get with 7. EDISON, a super honest on-pacer that drops four kilos for the class rise this Saturday and he's arguably a more effective galloper on a wet track.
The son of Fastnet Rock has drawn out, but if this turns into a real testing contest versus many key threats who either have fitness queries or, just flat out struggle to find the winner's stall these days, then he'll keep whacking away and they might battle to get past him late.
12. Badoosh returns for the Matthew Dunn yard and this gelding really turned a corner last campaign with three wins from six outings after some teasing prior campaigns. The heavy track is no dramas and he makes some appeal with a low weight off a good trial although he may just need this with just the one hit-out (bolted in second-up over the winter off two trials).
keeps the one kilo advantage over Edison from his October 24 win albeit the latter is much fitter now and although a hard mare to catch, 8. Romani Girl
isn't hopeless third-up at a fair quote ($18.00 @ Sportsbet
). She shouldn't be far away now with perhaps another Magic Millions attempt in mind (placed in the 2020 Mares feature).
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Race 9 - 5:40PM HEINEKEN HANDICAP Tips (1200 METRES)
Off the back of two excellent trials, we specked 4. POETIC CHARMER at big odds first-up and although we had to settle for an honourable fourth-place finish, he can build further off that performance over a more suitable 1200m this Saturday (has won his only attempt over this track/trip which was on a Heavy 8).
The Snowden-trained gelding was the only runner on that December 5 program from Rosehill to break 33 seconds for the last 600m (32.95) and with a stack of speed engaged in this contest, he can chime in late under Hugh Bowman.
After working early to take up the lead, 7. Mo's Crown was left in front a long way out via that same Rosehill sprint and was only reeled in late. James McDonald was aboard for his strong victory two starts back and takes back the reins on Saturday where he has barrier one at his disposal.
14. Pandano returned off a lengthy lay-off at Newcastle and arguably should've won there (was held-up in the straight). No wet form but is an interesting runner who showed plenty early days and is down in the weights/up in grade here while not sure what to make of 10. Kordia. Has had just the six starts and is probably Listed/Group class if he can improve again this campaign, but the last trial was ordinary (worked well prior to that on November 25).
Race 10 - 6:20PM SCHWEPPES HANDICAP Tips (1400 METRES)
One of the more open races on the card and at the each-way odds, I kept coming back to 8. BLACK DUKE, albeit without the greatest deal of confidence as while the 1400m is more suitable, the son of Fiorente is perhaps looking for further again but he will get at least a testing seven furlongs on a wet surface.
He broke through at start two on a Heavy 8 at Canterbury in nice fashion and this preparation (returned as a gelding), was good fresh over 1000m before going straight to 1300m on December 5 when lacking the sufficient turn-of-foot as the sprint went on but did pick up again late.
Godolphin colt 13. Tamerlane
broke through at start two on return (on protest) and has always shown above average ability at the trials (they did debut him in a Group Three). This is a big step coming from a Maiden but the son of Golden Horn could progress further here at a decent price ($15.00 @ BlueBet
) without surprising.
This looks a very winnable third-up target for 1. St Covet's Spirit who has some excellent form lines from the autumn but is potentially better suited on top of the ground and including 6. Bluff 'N' Bluster who Collett somewhat surprisingly sticks with instead of the top weight. He was well up in class on November 28 off a Provincial 64 placing but got home well and does come back a level here.
RANDWICK QUADDIE TIPS: